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The Seiko Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Samurai 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY029 is the latest addition to the “Samurai” collection, and also in the Save The Ocean series. Prospex for Seiko means “Professional Specification” that their timepieces in this category are built with very high standards to be used by professionals. One of the most popular releases in recent years is probably the remake of the OG Seiko Samurai launched in 2004 till 2008 (short production period). The original Samurai divers are pretty rare given its short four years production lifespan, further with few examples floating around in the market. It is no wonder the new Prospex SBDY019 are so popular among Seiko and dive watch collectors, as the giant revived this fantastic line since 2017.
|Seiko Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Samurai 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY029|
With many requests since we introduced Seiko JDMs, we decided to bring in the MADE IN JAPAN Samurai meant for the Japanese Domestic Market, denoted by the “MADE IN JAPAN” at 6 on the dial. The Prospex SBDY029 is similar to its sibling the SRPB51j1 but not without a subtle difference.
As suggested by the name of this special edition, Seiko with their Save the Ocean initiative, partnering with undisputed underwater explorer/ conservationist Fabien Cousteau ( just like his grandfather, the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau), together with their own Seiko Prospex. This initiative aims at raising awareness for marine conservation; therefore, the nautical/oceanic theme is at center stage.
The previous Seiko Prospex “Save The Ocean” Samurai SBDY019 is the predecessor of this new Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Samurai 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY029 released in 2018. While we do see the similar nautical waves theme among both, they do have individual quirks of their own. The overall look of the Samurai is one of a kind, quirky and unique given its unusual case silhouette. It is powered by Seiko’s automatic caliber, 4R35, operating at 21,600 BPH (3 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 24 jewels with a power reserve of 40 hours.
|A shark fin lurking in the waves around the 8 o’clock position|
The 200m water resistant stainless steel case measure 43.8mm case without the crown, but has a lug to lug length of only 48.4mm, and a height of about 13mm, with a lug width of 22mm. The short lugs to lugs length mean this watch wraps around the wrist on all(small or big) wrist sizes like a glove making it extremely comfortable. The bezel is aluminum and has the new engraved markings on it. It rotates buttery smooth into 120 positions has little to no free play in an anti-clockwise direction. Sitting atop of the bezel is Seiko’s Hardlex crystal.
A mixture of satin brush and Seiko high polishing on the sides can be seen on the whole watch, giving it a somewhat premium feel. The screw down crown at four o’clock is easy for time setting. On to the back of the watch, the screw down case back allows 200m water resistant and is also brushed, featuring the recognizable tsunami emblem that is a staple on the other Seiko divers. The case does come with lug holes allowing swapping of straps with ease.
The highlight of the Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Samurai 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY029 has got to be the dial. The SBDY029 is quite a stunner. The most prominent being the nautical inspired dial. Seiko has created a whole new dial pattern on this model recalling the wave motion just like the “great wave off Kanagawa” pictured by Hokusai. As the name is Great White Shark for this collection, the hint of any Shark is harder to spot, but once you do, you will not be able to miss it. A Shark fin can be seen lurking in the waves around the 8 o’clock position on the dial. Seiko knows how to be subtle on their design while still able to pay tribute to the vulnerable Chondrichthyes sea creature.
|Samurai's iconic facetted case design|
Further, the same design theme continues onto the engraved bezel insert, which is colored in mid-grey for the first 20 minutes of the scale and abyss blue for the remaining part of the scale, for design synergy. All these forms the unique part of the Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Samurai 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY029, making this special edition unique in the Samurai collection.
The vintage indices are primarily the same, as are the classic Seiko hour and minutes hands. The hour markers and hands are both generously coated with Seiko’s LumiBrite, allowing it to glow brightly in the dark for hours. Oh, did you know another subtle touch by Seiko where the second hand’s counterweight reminisce of a fish’s fin? Another nod to the Great White Shark theme.
The Prospex "Save The Ocean Great White Shark Edition" Samurai 200M Automatic Ref. SBDY029 comes with the Seiko stainless steel bracelet which combines high durability and comfort.
The Seiko Save The Ocean Samurai is probably one of the Samurai models all the Seiko collectors will need to have. Its unique dial pattern and color is something not seen before. And one of the few watches that is worthy of being in any dive watch collection. The unique customized design based on the initiative serves as an essential factor that your purchase of one is actively supporting the awareness, research, and conservation of these sea creatures. Finally, with its excellent price point and good value for money, it is a watch that will probably find itself onto the wrist of most Seiko buyers.
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